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5 Ways to Get More From Your HR Technology Investment

Posted by Sam Brasch, Principal on March 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM
5 Ways to Get More From Your HR Technology Investment

This article was orginally published in San Francisco Business Times.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Human Resources, Technology

Staying Top-Of-Mind: Compliance Requirements for 2018

Posted by Christopher K. Bao, Esq, Compliance Manager on January 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Staying Top-Of-Mind: Compliance Requirements for 2018

With the ever-changing landscape of the many compliance related requirements imposed on employers, it can feel like a full-time job to keep up with the many legal obligations and deadlines related to their health plans. To help employers stay on track, our in-house ERISA Attorneys have developed two step-by-step tools to assist with benefits plan administration in 2018.

2018 COMPLIANCE CALENDAR

The Compliance Calendar includes specific health plan deadlines that your company may need to meet during the 2018 calendar year. Although this calendar is intended for calendar year plans, it also contains some important deadlines for non-calendar year plans.

2017 FORM 1094-C AND FORM 1095-C CHEAT SHEET

Understanding how to complete the 1094-C and 1095-C Forms can be complicated and time consuming. To make the process more efficient and to assist employers with their general questions, we developed a line-by-line explanation of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Please note: As of December 22, 2017 the IRS has provided a thirty (30) day extension for employers/insurers to furnish Forms 1095-C and Form 1095-B to employees and insureds.

The 2018 Compliance Planning toolkit includes the 2018 Welfare Plan Compliance Calendar and 1094-C/1095-C Forms Cheat Sheet. Download your toolkit below.

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If you have any questions, please reach out to your broker.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Legislative Compliance

A Time of Uncertain Risk for Benefit Plan Fiduciaries

Posted by Tim McClellan, RPLU, AFSB, ARM on October 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM
A Time of Uncertain Risk for Benefit Plan Fiduciaries

Beginning in 1974, with the advent of The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), those who manage employer benefit plans are considered fiduciaries acting on behalf of participants and beneficiaries are subject to specific standards of conduct.

The standards of conduct required by ERISA are separated into four primary categories:

  • Duty of Loyalty – Be loyal to participants and beneficiaries
  • Duty of Prudence – Be prudent in making decisions
  • Duty of Diversify – Offer a variety of investments
  • Duty to Follow Plan Documents – Adhere to plan documents

Fiduciaries agree to make decisions about employee benefits in the best interest of plan participants. The law sees the responsibility as the fiduciary’s, at times holding them personally accountable, negatively impacting their personal assets. 

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Topics: Employee Benefits

Helping Reduce Type 2 Diabetes for Beyond Benefits Members

Posted by Nicole Mehrara, Principal, Employee Benefits Division on October 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Helping Reduce Type 2 Diabetes for Beyond Benefits Members

Marsh & McLennan Agency and Anthem Blue Cross’ partnership is bringing value to Beyond Benefits Trust clients and their employees through the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). With 90 percent of diabetes diagnoses being Type 2, the disease is a dangerous and growing crisis worldwide*. As part of our dedication to deliver innovative and quality healthcare, the DPP will provide educational awareness to employees while empowering them to improve their long term health.

We kicked off the program in August and reached over 10,000 members in the Trust. Employees that chose to engage in the program determined if they prefer to meet weekly online or in a classroom setting for 16 weeks and then monthly for the balance of a year. The program teaches participants to make lasting lifestyle changes by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and improving coping skills. By providing employees with tools such as a wireless scale or an activity tracker, support through small groups, weekly lessons, and access to a personal health coach, small changes will start to make a big difference!

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Topics: Employee Benefits

The Benefits Tech Trust: A Better Solution for Employee Benefits

Posted by Todd Bennett, Principal on June 26, 2017 at 10:00 AM
The Benefits Tech Trust: A Better Solution for Employee Benefits

As a small or mid-sized business, we understand a top priority is to make your money go further. When it comes to securing employee benefits insurance, health care pricing options are typically limited for smaller groups.

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Topics: Employee Benefits

Trust Member Saves $180K Annually with CharterShield School Benefits Trust

Posted by Pedro Reyes, Principal on April 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Trust Member Saves $180K Annually with CharterShield School Benefits Trust

You heard right. Compared to the direct market or offers from alternative brokers, our client Community Collaborative is saving approximately $180,000 per year by joining the CharterShield School Benefits Trust. Under the trust structure, employers qualify for large group rates, regardless of their size.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Market Trends

Beyond Benefits Celebrates Historic Rate Decrease

Posted by Erin Schultze, Client Executive, Trust Services on March 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Beyond Benefits Celebrates Historic Rate Decrease

This year, Beyond Benefits members experienced a 1.4% employee benefits rate decrease, while other life science companies outside of the trust are seeing double digit increases. To celebrate the program’s continued success, Beyond Benefits members joined MMA, Biocom and Anthem Blue Cross for a post-renewal celebration. Check out the video below for more information.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Market Trends

Health Care Reform – Wrapping Up 2016

Posted by Christopher K. Bao, Regulatory Compliance Manager on December 5, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Health Care Reform – Wrapping Up 2016

In 2016, many employers anticipated significant changes or, at least, clarification on Health Care Reform.  For the most part, the feds made no substantial changes nor released any major clarification on requirements. However, employers were impacted by some minor developments in the law.  

The most notable developments included:

  • Paid sick leave was a huge trend, with many states and municipalities implementing legislation to increase the amount of paid time off.
  • The government further developed the Affordable Care Act’s non-discrimination goal, and helped provide paid sick leave to government contractors.
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Topics: Employee Benefits, Legislative Compliance

A Small Group Benefits Solution for Charter Schools

Posted by Pedro Reyes, Charter School Practice Group Leader on September 26, 2016 at 10:00 AM
A Small Group Benefits Solution for Charter Schools

Since January 1, 2016, employers with 51-100 benefit eligible employees are considered small group employers. As a newly labeled “small business,” you may see rate increases of 20-30%, depending on your group, if you haven’t already.

Why the big jump in rates?

The change is tied to rules that apply to small groups. Small groups are charged with what the insurance industry calls “age-banded” rates. Age-banded simply means age-based. In other words, cost is assessed for the age of each employee and spouse in the group. The shift adds another obstacle in the quest to offer affordably priced health care coverage.

If you are one of these employers, the following is a quick summary of things to be aware of.

For all renewals moving forward, employers with 51 to 100 benefit eligible employees will:

  1. Move from large group to small group
  2. Pay medical rates based on each family member’s age and not the employee’s age
  3. Have rates based on the ZIP code of the employer (instead of the employees’ residential zip codes)
  4. Potentially lose online administration of benefit eligibility
  5. Cease to receive underwriting discounts for industry and favorable employee demographics

Solution for CharterShield School Employers

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Topics: Employee Benefits

It’s Not A Typo. Employee Benefit Rates Are Actually Going Down For Some Life Science And Biotech Companies.

Posted by Madalyn Altschuler, Regional Manager, Client Programs on September 13, 2016 at 10:05 AM
It’s Not A Typo. Employee Benefit Rates Are Actually Going Down For Some Life Science And Biotech Companies.

At a time when employee benefits are rising at almost double-digit rates, how is it possible for rates to be dropping for some firms?

You just need to belong to Beyond Benefits.

The window of opportunity, however, is quickly closing. Deadline for enrollment in the trust and access to below market rates is September 30, 2016.

Founded by BIOCOM in partnership with Marsh & McLennan Agency, Beyond Benefits enables life science and biotech companies to pool their purchasing power and secure employee benefit rates similar to organizations with a large number of employees.

In 2017, the 198 members of Beyond Benefits will see a 1.4% rate reduction. Meanwhile, companies not participating in Beyond Benefits will likely face an average rate increase of 9.2%* in 2017.

Since 2012, Beyond Benefits has saved member companies more than $89 million in medical premiums, or about $6 million annually. More than 6,500 biotech and life sciences employees are covered by the program.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Market Trends

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